Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Sign in

Social Media as Paratextual Narrative: Visualizing Twitter Surges in Response to Popular Television Shows

Speaker: Alex Leavitt, Convergence Culture Consortium (Comparative Media Studies, MIT) & Web Ecology Project. Moderator: Madeleine Clare Elish. Abstract: In his new book, "Show Sold Separately: Promos, Spoilers, and Other Media Paratexts" (2010), Jonathan Gray argues for the recognition of peripheral entities of media franchises as valuable, writing, "[W]hereas hype is often regarded solely as advertising and as PR, synergistic merchandise, products, and games -- also called peripherals -- are often intended as other platforms for profit-generation. ... Promotion suggests not only the commercial act of selling, but also of advancing and developing a text" (5). Gray supports paratexts, the adjacent media elements that "create," "manage," and "fill... with meanings" (6) the primary text, as influential elements for audiences to understand stories. Recent audience research around television consumption has recognized that messages on social networks, such as Twitter.com, have created enormous amounts of hype around major episodes of American broadcast television shows that resembles the textual phenomena that Gray investigates. However, the large amount of tweets that appear in Twitter's Trending Topics aggregation system presents a sizable barrier to Humanities scholars, who in examining these paratextual "events" must navigate, via Twitter's API, millions of notes that constitute a persuasive force in understanding television narratives. Alex Leavitt, Lead Researcher on the Web Ecology Project (http://webecologyproject.org/) and Research Specialist in the Convergence Culture Consortium (Comparative Media Studies, MIT), will examine experiments in approaching paratexts and paratextual incidents occurring across large social networks and the implications that these paratexts have on scholars' research through visualization as well as on concepts of authorship and narrative development.

Comments (0)

You need to log in, in order to post comments.

Created
July 16, 2010 10:48
Category
Tags
License
All Rights Reserved (What is this?)
Additional Files


Viewed
10773 times

More from humanities + digital Visual Interpretations conference May 2010

White Flight: Complexity, Optics, and Visualization as Evasion

White Flight: Complexity, Optics, a...

Added over 5 years ago | 00:27:04 | 6150 views

Image Matrices: Learning from Klosterneuburg

Image Matrices: Learning from Klost...

Added over 5 years ago | 00:21:27 | 8475 views

Viewing and Navigating the Historical Context of News

Viewing and Navigating the Historic...

Added over 5 years ago | 00:10:58 | 8068 views

Splendor, Destruction, and the Shift from Awe to Action in Environmental Documentary

Splendor, Destruction, and the Shif...

Added over 5 years ago | 00:11:28 | 25900 views

Social/Image: A Visual Art/ists Wiki in Theory and Practice

Social/Image: A Visual Art/ists Wik...

Added over 5 years ago | 00:11:05 | 13046 views

Visual argumentation: How Visual Rhetorical Figures Shape the Perception of Information

Visual argumentation: How Visual Rh...

Added over 5 years ago | 00:20:03 | 8709 views